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St. Patrick's Day and The Emerald Necklace


Photo by David Paul Ohmer

St. Patrick's Day marks the transition from winter to spring in Boston, and today's weather offers a perfect example of that transition, with blue skies, sunshine, and temperatures in the 50s.  What better setting could there be to motivate us to be active?  In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, let's talk about Boston's best green features, which are not only important aspects of our city's beauty, but great tools for the improvement of our own health and beauty.

The Emerald Necklace

50% of the city of Boston's park acreage is park of The Emerald Necklace, with 1,100 acres of parkways and parkland from Boston Common to Franklin Park.  You can get 7 miles of walking, jogging, skating, or bicycling exercise by following our city's loop of green gems.

What does The Emerald Necklace include?

There are 9 parks and waterways included in The Emerald Necklace:

Several of these destinations existed before the plan to unite them in a linear formation was put into place by Frederick Law Olmsted, America's first landscape architect.  Check out this essay by Olmsted himself, from the Library of Congress website, with photos of what some of these sites looked like in the 1800s.

Why is The Emerald Necklace important to Boston?

The parks and gardens that make up The Emerald Necklace not only offer Bostonians and our visitors scenic outdoor recreation spots within which to commune with nature and eachother, they're also ecologically important.  Open green destinations and woodsy preserves improve the air quality of the city, and offer nesting places for migratory birds and other wildlife.

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy is an organization created to protect, restore, maintain, and promote the landcape, waterways, and parkways of The Emerald Necklace.  Their website offers a wealth of information about Boston's crown jewels, as well as a helpful viewable and downloadable map of the entire chain of locations.  Download the map to plan an adventure today!

Motivation from St. Patrick

Whether you're already in a good rhythm with exercise, or you have a goal to begin, get outside today!  The warm weather and sunshine are calling your name, and perhaps you'll find the pot of gold in the form of a great benefit to your health. 

Spending a little time with nature will recharge you, whether you simply sit and soak up 10 minutes of sunshine, go for a brisk walk, or put your running shoes to good use.


  • Sometimes just making the cause to be active is half the battle.  One positive decision begets another, with a direct impact on your success rate for the rest of today, and beyond.
  • Getting 30 minutes of daily exercise lowers your risk of diabetes by 60%.
  • A simple 30 minute walk provides an immediate boost to your metabolism!

Think you don't have time?

In the words of the brilliant Randy Glasbergen cartoon (in which an M.D. poses this question to his overweight patient), "What fits your busy schedule better, exercising one hour a day, or being dead 24 hours a day?"  Yeah.  I thought so.  Get your butt outside.

Check out these articles for more tips on positive motivation:

Top tips to keep your New Year's Resolution from from failing

Kickstart the body and mind, 10 steps for turning over a new leaf immediately!


  • Maureen 5 years ago

    This is sure a great article! Remember: "Everyone's Irish on St. Patrick's Day!"

  • Angela 5 years ago

    Thanks! Hope you had a happy St. Paddy's, Maureen! :)

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